July 10, 2012. SEMI projects semiconductor equipment sales will reach $42.4 billion in 2012 according to the mid-year edition of the SEMI Capital Equipment Forecast, released at the annual SEMICON West exposition.
Driven by consumer demand for tablet, smartphone, and mobile devices, chipmakers continue to purchase manufacturing technology equipment. The forecast indicates that, following a 9% market increase in 2011, the equipment market will contract by 2.6% in 2012. The year 2012 is likely to be the fourth highest spending year in history, with higher spending only in 2011 ($43.5 billion), 2007 ($42.8 billion), and 2000 ($47.7 billion). With $33.0 billion for 2012 forecasted for wafer processing equipment, it will be the second highest spending year ever for this segment, surpassed only by the $34.3 billion spent in 2011.
“We expect 2012 to post one of the highest rates of global investment for semiconductor manufacturing equipment. Following a multi-year market expansion, sales will again exceed $42 billion—just one billion short of last year’s spending rate as the industry absorbs new capacity,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI. “We also forecast accelerated spending to exceed $46 billion in 2013.”
Wafer-processing equipment, the largest product segment by dollar value, is expected to decrease 3.8% in 2012 to $33.0 billion. The forecast predicts that the market for both test ($3.8 billion) and assembly and packaging ($3.4 billion) equipment will remain essentially flat (increase of 0.2% and 0.9%, respectively).
Growth is forecasted in only two regions in 2012—Korea and Taiwan, which will both become the largest two markets for equipment spending in 2012. In 2013, Korea and North America are expected to claim the top spots, with Taiwan slipping to third place in terms of equipment spending.